Malaria is an ancient disease. In all likelihood originating in Africa, it has been described by the Chinese as far back as 2700BC and the Sumerians from 1700 BC. The malaria parasite (plasmodium) is transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes.
More than one million deaths and 300 to 500 million cases are still reported annually in the world. In the United States malaria affected colonization along the eastern shore and wasn't effectively controlled until the 1940s when mosquito control organization instituted Anopheles control programs.
Minor outbreaks of locally-acquired malaria occur sporadically in the United States, but have been quickly controlled by aggressive mosquito control measures. Anopheles quadrimaculatus is the mosquito in the Hampton Roads Area responsible for the spread of malaria.